Benefits of Working Out in the Heat
Updated: Jun 22, 2019
Working out in the heat is better for you? Yes! Working out in the heat, inside or out, especially in Phoenix, makes us profusely sweat. This is GOOD! I mean, we’re working out, right? It is not supposed to be a sweat-free process. But why is this extra sweat even better for us?
While it is true that working out in cold weather causes your body to work harder to warm itself, it is actually even harder work for your body to cool itself in hot weather. Exercising increases our body temperature, so your body does not need to do too much extra work in the cold or cooler temperatures because your movement is helping the process. However, in hot temperatures your body is working even harder to cool itself down as your workout and the hot air continues to raise your body temperature.
And how do we cool ourselves? Through sweat! So, while fighting the temperature in the air and our increased body temperature, we sweat even more. This is great for us. Our body releases heat through sweat. Our sweat comes from blood pumped to our skin, which is delivered through the work of our heart. So, the hotter we are, the harder our heart works, pumping more blood and more heat to our skin in an effort to cool our body. This extensively increases our cardiovascular workout. As we increase our cardiovascular workout, we increase the amount of fuel our heart needs to run; just like driving your vehicle faster and for a further distance requires more gas. We pull this extra fuel from reserves in our fat cells, therefore burning more fat during this hotter workout as well.
Ta-da, heat is great for us! Push yourself in the heat, but if you start to feel nauseous or dizzy, STOP. You are not a hero pushing through feeling sick; you are actually putting your body in danger and lowering the achievements of your workout. You won’t burn more fat, your body will panic and keep your reserves and shut down instead. A moderate to high pace free of nausea and dizziness will outperform and burn more fat and calories than a body that is panicking and warning you with feelings of nausea or dizziness, or pushed to the point of puking.
To optimize your results in a hot weather workout and minimize risk, drink PLENTY of water to replenish what you are sweating out. Your workout is not about water loss. It is about calorie burning and fat loss. We want our water. Also, wear lightweight and breathable fabrics that wick moisture away. This assists the sweating process and prevents the heat from being trapped in your clothes and to your body, which increases the risk of heat exhaustion.
Grab your water bottle, throw on your light clothes, hit the gym, and enjoy the high temperatures of the summer while maximizing the results you see and experience from your workout!